Part I: Planning the Writing Project
Letter of Introduction
My Letter of Introduction was written to The Hypothetical Zone's Executive Director, Alice McDonald. Professor Dowell and I used this to "spring me from the starting line" with excellent footing. Director McDonald was thus able to keep the "hardcopy" of the original letter in her documentation for my efforts at The Hypothetical Zone.
Agreement and Proposal
Once introductions had been established, it was necessary for us to get "down to business" concerning what my actual Service-Learning Writing Project would entail, including my full duties for the agency. Thus, Director McDonald and I "cobbled together" a working proposal for my service with The Hypothetical Zone (updates are offered below).
Having never written for so very large - yet specific - an audience, Director McDonald helped me determine for whom I would actually be writing. Indeed, having never been engaged in Service-Learning before either, this was clearly a unique opportunity for me to "get a feel" for my quite sizable audience!
Part II: Working on the Writing Project
This is a compilation of facts about The Hypothetical Zone, useful for anyone wishing to learn more of the agency's history, growth, projects, funding, hierarchical structure, or other such matters of fact. This document, also a PDF file, includes my interview with Hypothetical Zone Executive Director, Alice McDonald, as well as agency-related bibliographies/webliographies, a recent newsletter, and some Hypothetical Zone brochures.
As I went to The Hypothetical Zone every Thursday for eight weeks, it was easy for me to keep my thoughts assembled. Additionally, since the Director of the Service Learning Center, Karen McKnight Casey, came into class on a weekly basis, it was all the easier to see how others were experiencing situations similar to - and sometimes quite different from - my own.
While we generally stuck to the plan indicated by the Agreement and Proposal (above), we had to make just a few "amendments and adjustments," as Ms. McDonald called them, as the project progressed. The first update, of March 13th, indicates some changes in the format for the Writing Project, as well as some reminders of additional research I must do for texts in the MSU Library. The other update, of April 12, mainly deals with rather minor revisions and fairly major editing matters which were to be completed.
Service-Learning Writing Project for The Hypothetical Zone
As indicated earlier, The Hypothetical Zone is both a physical "brick-and-mortar" building and a "virtual" site available only online. My primary writing responsibilities to "the Zone" (as it's often called in-house) were dedicated to maintaining current information available at the website. Thus, I wrote a number of documents in Microsoft Word and then turned them into PDF files - complete with links.
Part III: Evaluating the Writing Project
Reflections on the SLWP Experience
To be sure, I'd never before experienced anything like this writing project, particularly as it regards what I've come to discover is called "Service-Learning." However, this was a most unique experience and I certainly intend to maintain my "connections" with The Hypothetical Zone for the time I spend in the Lansing/East Lansing area ... and likely beyond. For details, please see my reflections essay.
Study Group Writing Project Evaluation
Individual Writing Project Evaluation
As I was working alone (OR ... along with Timmy and Yvonne) for the Hypothetical Zone, certain matters had to be taken into account for the writing strategies employed. The brief, completed form at this (OR ... this) link is a collection of simple reflections regarding my experience writing alone (OR ... with Timmy and Yvonne).
Agency Evaluation for Service-Learning Writing Project
At this link is a "blank" version of the evaluation form my agency contact person, Ms. McDonald, filled out on my behalf. While her specific responses are confidential until just after the end of the semester, I believe it is clear we had more than merely sufficient rapport; miscommunications were very rare and always quickly resolved. Had there been any "friction" at any time whatsoever, both Ms. McDonald and I would have negotiated our own, new, understandings, though Professor Dowell would certainly have heard about such friction. In fact, I believe it is quite fair to suggest the friends I made there - Ms. McDonald among them - will last beyond my few more years in this geographic area!